Google has come a long way since the launch of the first version of the Android system in 2008, and since then the system has been developed radically, and with the accustomed Google to launch a new version of Android, but it did not release only two updates were the most important ever in the history of the system: Android 5.0, known as “Lollipop”, where Google for the first time revealed the “Material Design” design language, which aimed to unify the style of interface design, and now the Android 12 update, where Google revealed the new generation of this language under the name “Material You” in the version First demo, what’s new, and how did Google completely redesign the Android interface?
Google’s goal while working on the Material You design language was to provide an interface that was customizable and adapted to each user’s lifestyle; To this end, an engine has been added that chooses a primary and secondary color from the background installed on the screen of the device. This means that each user has his own colors that are fully applied throughout the interface, which will eliminate the routine and familiarity with the shape of the interface.
Google has also focused on adding thick buttons throughout the interface, the reason behind this is to increase the use of colors derived from the background in addition to facilitating the use of the interface for large screens, and speaking of large screens, Google has also adopted making interface titles in a large font, as in the Samsung OneUI interface . She also confirmed that one of the features of the Material You interface is that it supports all different screen sizes, from smart watches to TV screens.
Finally, Google has added a lot of visual effects to the Material You interface to make it interactive in a way that responds to the user and gives him a more dynamic experience while doing daily tasks. These effects include the way you scroll and tap in the interface and even when you open or close the phone or charge it. Those many effects supported in the Android 12 interface are one of the reasons why this version of Android is the best ever in terms of adapting to users.
Colors, thickness and effects.. These were the basic elements in implementing the Material You interface that Google presented and that we reviewed in the previous paragraph, and in order for the company to implement these elements in the Android 12 interface, some radical changes had to be made that might make the new update for Android really different from what we are used to it in previous years. We review the most prominent changes in the interface and compare it to the previous version of Android (11):
- lock screen:
- control window:
- Notification window:
- Voice control window:
- Number pad on the lock screen:
One of the methods that Google used to take a decision and then do the opposite in the future, as if it was paving the way for its next steps in order to maintain development in the design, and this was evident in the design of the lock screen. In Android 11, where Google’s tendency was to significantly reduce the size of the clock, and now in Android 12, the clock has been resized to take up a large area of the screen, and its place has been changed to be in the middle.
This significant increase in the size of the clock and the increase in the thickness of the font are directed mainly due to the increase in colorable elements within the interface.
Another notable change in the lock screen is that the bottom shortcuts and the top lock sign have been dispensed with, and we don’t know if they have been removed for good or will be added again in upcoming beta updates.
When you first use the Android 12 update, you will find that this is not the Android interface that you are used to, especially when you pull the notification window. The “Quick settings” or circular shortcuts through which the device properties are controlled have been redesigned to be rectangular cards that include the icon of each shortcut and its details. This change has reduced the number of shortcuts available in the Control Window.
Another notable change in the control window is the shape of the brightness control, it has been redesigned to increase its thickness significantly, making it consistent with the overall look of the interface.
These changes have refreshed the entire interface of the system and also supported the idea of color extraction by adding it to the widescreen cards and the brightness controller.
New elements have been changed and added in the notification window in the first beta version of Android 12, now there is a dark background that separates the notification window from what is behind it, and the color of this dark background is changed according to the system colors that are changed as mentioned previously.
The design of the notification cards has also been changed to become curved edges and contain color extracted from the system as well, with the thickness of both the delete notifications and history buttons also increased.
The same style of arranging notifications in separate sections that we saw in Android 11 has been preserved, but the focus is only on the interface design. We also noticed that the number of shortcuts available in the notification window has also been reduced to 4 instead of 6, which may be annoying for some but It had to happen because to keep enough space for notifications to appear.
There is no significant difference in the settings interface between Android 11 and 12 except in this large font that includes the title “Settings”, which appears to be identical to what Samsung is doing in the OneUI interface – as we mentioned earlier – and this means that in the near future we may find that all applications Google has become the same design style.
We also noticed resizing the icons for each section within the settings and a slight tweak to their colors as the font was enlarged and the sections were rearranged but expect to see more tweaks in the future and that’s never the final look.
On a personal level, I am not opposed to this change, which I find logical for two reasons, the first and main is to facilitate the use of large phones with one hand, which is the main reason that Samsung had in mind when it introduced its interface, and the second reason is the consistency of the interface and that this design I find from the aesthetic proportions to decorate any interface .
The volume control window in Android 12 has been completely redesigned. It remains the same design as the side menu, but with a completely new look. The traditional menu that includes the volume controls has been removed and replaced with a curved menu that is about the thickness of the volume cursor with the color of that menu The primary color of the interface while the audio indicator includes the secondary color derived from the installed background.
The closeness in thickness between the parent slate and the pitch of the volume cursor made the slate thinner and gave it an aesthetically modern look.
Among the changes is also the addition of 3 sound modes in a separate long list to directly tap on the mode you want and not just move between them as in Android 11.
One of the changes we also noticed was in the shape of the number pad when choosing to protect your device as a PIN, as a thick circle was added for each number as shown in the attached GIF.
Obviously, another dark background has been added when the number pad is shown obscuring the wallpaper installed on the device, which we noticed earlier in the notification window.
Many users did not like this change and considered it a step backwards, but from a design point of view, Google is trying to standardize the design style in the entire interface and focus on increasing the elements available for coloring, so it is very logical to make this decision, which may look bad looking if it is placed separately, but rather When used with a coherent interface, its aesthetics will really be highlighted.